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Most wood floors can be kept clean by first sweeping or vacuuming with a floor nozzle to remove most of the surface dust and dirt, then damp mopping with clear water (dip a sponge in clear water, squeezing it out so that the mop is barely damp, almost dry). Use very little water and rinse your mop thoroughly after each use since excess water can dissolve protective coatings, alter the color of the wood and raise the grain to roughen the surface.
If your floors are not dirty enough to need mopping every week, then you should not do it, as it will wear the floors faster, not to mention waste your time. Simply sweeping is often all they need.
If need to restore the shine to your wood floor after you get it clean, try damp mopping it with 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons furniture polish in a gallon of warm water. Vinegar is also useful for removing any soap residue or build-up, but should not be necessary every week.
I tried the vinegar, water and furniture polish on my cherry hardwood floors several months ago -- EXCELLENT results!! I'm just getting ready to do it again....it's THAT good.
Thank you for this tip, I was told to use 1/2 water to 1/2 window cleaner to keep my orginal hardwood floors clean and shining but, have found out it really only takes away the shine and they look fairly old. I will try your 1/2 vinegar & 2 T furniture polish with warm water and will let you know my results. If it brings back my shine I'll be totally FINE!
What specific type or brand of furniture polish are you referring to? All I can think of is the spray/aerosol type of polish. Is that correct?
Actually, after trying many different things, what I've found to work best for our wood floors (imported Brazilian walnut) is the Bona wood floor cleaner. It can be used as often as you like and leaves no residue/build up. Makes the floors look brand new.
I use lemon oil with a damp sponge mop once a month. To polish the wood floors in my house and it works just as well. I will definately try the Vinegar solution.
I was told never to use vinegar and water on factory finished hardwood floors. It dulls the finish. I just use very hot water on a cotton cloth that has been wrung out until just damp. It helps then to dry with another soft cloth.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|